Category Archives: Blogging

The Sounds Of The Silence Of My Blog

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Hi everybody! I’m still here…just busy, busy, busy! I’ve been helping the boys finish up this last couple of months of school (why do they schedule literally EVERY special activity and project in the last month???), and finishing up my own master’s program. I’m in week five now of ten of my very last college course ever! I’m done. Stick a fork in me, I’m done. I have been a part time or half time college student now since 1998. I’m not sure I know how to be anything else at this point in my life (more on my neurotic jitters of getting back out into the workforce in a later blog). When I started out, I simply wanted to correct what I considered to be one of my biggest mistakes in life–not finishing college right after high school. And now, here I am, well over a decade later, about to finish up my second master’s degree, wondering what I’m going to do after graduation.

Not unlike this guy…

Except, since I’m 46 and female instead of 22 and male, I also have her problems…mostly her tendency to say inappropriate, slightly shocking things to the wrong people…Well, okay, maybe not quite this bad…

However, being an optimistic type, I feel that good things are ahead for me (unlike poor, aimless Benjamin and sexy but borderline Mrs. Robinson)…Stick around to see what’s next! Maybe something in plastic, perhaps? 😉 I promise I’ll have some witty take on whatever happens, or doesn’t happen the way I planned and envisioned it. 

Coo-Coo-Ca-Choo…Until Next Time…

Happy 1st Birthday WittyBizGal.com!

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It’s actually hard to believe that it’s been a whole year today…this past 12 months has gone by so fast. That must mean that I’m enjoying being a blogger, and that means that I need to keep doing it…:-) 

Here’s the post that started it all, on March 5, 2011: Authentic Winning in a Post #Tigerblood World, in which I shared my thoughts on the pop culture news of the day…Charlie Sheen’s highly public, mostly entertaining, entirely freaky, cringe inducing, nervous breakdown. One year later, I am happy to report that I have made a lot of progress toward my stated goals…I’ve found winners and have featured them in my blog…I have explored what it means to really be a winner…I’ve tried to keep the focus on the positive (even when I felt forced to kick some nasty, haughty, negative, caustic fellow blogger booty HERE – trust me, nobody deserved it more than that guy). And, not to brag too much, lest I start to sound eerily like the manic Mr. Sheen of a year ago today, but I think my blog has become a #Winner! 

I write when I feel inspired, about things that interest me, and people seem to like what I do here. I get a fair number of hits each day (anywhere from 75-125) although I have absolutely no idea what the average number of hits per day is for the average blog. And, truth be told, each hit–every single one–thrills me to no end! I’m just happy that you like me…YOU REALLY LIKE ME! I’m humbled and grateful that anybody reads what I write at all. And that leads me to what I really wanted to say today to you, my readers. Thank you so much for coming here and playing along with me. And if you’ve subscribed–WOW–thank you for having that much faith that I’ll continue to crank out good stuff! 

I’m not sure exactly what I’ll do in the coming year…I don’t really have a planned theme this time. How about more of the same? Oh, and before I forget, this is the blog that got the most hits this year, by far: WittyBizGal Nonprofit Spotlight; Come On Baby And Rescue Me! You folks really love dogs! 

Thanks again, and if you promise to stick around, I promise to do my best to make you glad you did! 

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise.  The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt”.  ~ Sylvia Plath

Flaming…If You Own A Computer And Have Taken It Out Of The Box, It’s Bound To Happen…

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There are a lot of wonderful things about the Internet. Those of us who are old enough to remember the Internet-less world can appreciate just how much having the world wide web at our fingertips can enrich our lives….

For example, if you’re like me, you have no sense of direction. Internet direction programs have saved me more times than I can count…

And…I never have to worry about what to make for dinner anymore. I can go to any one of the available recipe databases, punch in the ingredients I have on hand, and it’ll tell me what to whip up that night to feed the family…


The Internet has also been great for our social interaction too…before, we just lost touch with people we knew, especially when we moved away. Now, with email, instant chat, Skype, and Facebook, we can easily keep in touch.

In fact, it almost seems that there is nothing bad at all about the Age of Technology…aside from the fantasy based possibility that computers will eventually become self aware and take over the world…:::shudder::: 


So, it’s all harmless, right? Well, not exactly…
It never fails…if you’re even a little active online and either commenting interactively in open forums, or producing your own original content and putting it out there for the world to see, inevitably, somebody somewhere will take issue with what you say, no matter how benign or non-controversial it was when it came out of your head and was typed onto your keyboard. In fact, there probably isn’t anyone walking around out there who owns a computer who hasn’t been flamed at least once.

FLAMING: Flaming, also known as bashing, is hostile and insulting interaction between Internet users. ~ http://www.wikipedia.org

It’s human nature to want to discuss our thoughts and feelings about what’s in the news, etc. with other people. And, an open forum with a news story that we’re interested in is definitely a huge temptation to jump in there and make our views heard. Or read, I guess. For me, this is often where the trouble begins. I can be outspoken, but I do always try to state my opinions in a way that shouldn’t incite any sort of legitimate anger from my fellow posters. But, as it turns out, a lot of them don’t need a reason to make trouble. In fact, more than likely, that’s why they are commenting themselves–just for the sake of making trouble and getting some sort of attention in doing so. I’ve had this happen to me when I’ve commented in political and parenting forums, certainly, where the subject matter is inherently polarizing or controversial. But, flaming happens everywhere–you can’t escape it. I’ve had the same thing happen to me on soap opera, makeup and hair, and other types of forums as well. Flamers become angered by your opinions for whatever reason, and this makes them so frustrated that they counter by attacking you personally…the way you wear your hair, your intellect as they see it, the fact that you’re even online when you should be doing other things according to them, etc. Anything they can grab onto in order to try to shut you up because they don’t like what you’re saying, or simply to bring attention to themselves because that’s why they are interacting in the first place. Not to interact and exchange ideas and discuss, but to get someone to notice them. That’s a sad reality, but nonetheless, the truth is that there are a lot of pathetic trolls out there…

A lot of my friends, and Friends (as in Facebook connections) try to avoid the flaming phenomenon by never interacting at all. Or never posting or commenting anything that might be even the least bit controversial. Or both. This is one strategy, I guess, but I tend to believe that if you have no intention of interacting, saying what you think and seeing what others think, then you might as well not be online at all. Or at least not on any social sites or forums open to comments. For example, I have a friend who is extremely active on Twitter. He has amassed far more Followers than most Twitter users, and he has done so by adhering to his own self imposed Twitter rule of never posting any articles or comments which are at all controversial. However, even he has been flamed! And the reason for that is that everything anyone says or does is fodder for flaming to those who choose to make an issue out of it–no matter what it is. Nothing is safe from the flames! 

So, I have decided to just keep on keepin’ on, as they said in the 70’s (my favorite era these days). If I feel like commenting in a forum, I do, knowing full well that some idiot may randomly choose to attack me personally from out there in left field if they don’t like what I have to say. It just comes with the territory. It never feels good and I never enjoy it, but it’s just a fact of life. Like car wrecks. You do what you can to avoid them, be safe, be courteous to other drivers, but know that you may be unlucky that day if you choose to get out there on the road, living your life and going places. And if you’re a blogger, you have to know that you’re a forum commenter on steroids–literally everything you write leaves you, and the life you lead, vulnerable to somebody (or some troll) who might have something to say about it. And in some cases, some crazy might even be so incensed by your thoughts and your perspectives, or the way you live your life that they’ll…ahem…write a whole blog themselves about it just to call you out

I don’t live life timidly. I won’t. That’s no way to live. So, within reason, I plan to keep interacting in open forums, keep writing blogs when I feel like writing, and in general, putting my thoughts out there into the mix with everybody else’s. After all, that’s why Al Gore invented the Internet, right? 😉 

I have come up with a few strategies for living happily in a flaming world though…

  • Above all, don’t take it too personally. When someone flames you, you have to remember that they are bringing all the garbage of their lives to the party, and are trying to dump it all on you. Sometimes, even when they pick something out about you to insult, it’s not about you at all. Maybe you look like their ex wife or something…
  • Don’t ignore them, don’t let them walk all over you, but don’t let them trick you into a never ending, useless back and forth either. Sometimes, that is what they’re really looking for. Some folks are truly that lame. They can’t get people to talk to them any other way. So, I’ve found it’s best to acknowledge that you’ve seen their comment(s), but that you won’t be falling for it. And then DON’T fall for it. 
  • Understand that flaming comes with the territory. If you want to interact with people online, expect a certain amount of conflict. With online communication, people feel much more free to say things that they definitely wouldn’t say if they were sitting in the same room with you. 
  • Give them the benefit of the doubt. Online communication also doesn’t have the richness that face to face communication has. In other words, those visual cues, along with tone of voice that sometimes convey true meaning in a conversation are totally absent in online, typewritten forums. Sometimes a communication misunderstanding will snowball in an environment like this. Maybe they simply misunderstood your words, or the way you chose to put your words together. 
  • Don’t let it ruin your day or take over your life. Trust me, I know that if this happens to you, your instinct is to keep checking back to see what else they’ve said, what others might have jumped in to rail on you too, etc. Don’t give in to that natural tendency. Say what you need to say, then walk away. Resist the urge to keep going back to the scene of the “crime”…:-)

How do you deal with flaming? Please post your tips and comments below… 

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Blogging, But Were Afraid To Ask

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 Today as I watched Julie & Julia, for the fourth or fifth time, can’t remember which, I started thinking about blogs and where they came from. After all, the blog is a phenomenon that didn’t even exist twenty years ago. If you were a writer of any sort back then, you either had to be published somewhere, or your musings were simply diaries to entertain yourself, and maybe your closest friends or family members, and document your life after you got too old to remember it. Nowadays, thanks to the ease and accessibility of the blog, anyone can become a published writer, and sometimes a celebrity, like the considerably less perky and sweet than she was portrayed in the movie, Ms. Julie Powell. I have my own blog now, just like the rest of the free world. It will never make me a celebrity, I’m almost positive of that, but it gives me an outlet for my creative side, and as Amy Adams so charmingly put it in the movie, “I could write a blog. I have thoughts!”

I realized today that I know almost nothing about the history of blogging. It’s like one day blogging was unheard of, and the next, everybody had one and they were oozing from every corner of the World Wide Web. Some are better than others, some make it and some don’t, and some are even written by professional journalists or celebrity writers. Never one to let anything rest once my curiosity is sparked, I went looking for some answers about where blogging came from, who did it first, how it became mainstream, and how many blogs and bloggers there are out there in cyberspace.

I found out some fascinating things…for instance:

The blog was “invented”, for all intents and purposes, by this guy…

Jorn Barger

  • Barger was the first to use the term “Weblog” on December 17, 1997 to refer to his links on the web, at his site, “Robot Wisdom”, which is still an active blog.
  • The United States is the country with the most bloggers, roughly 29%, the majority of whom reside in California, which is home to approximately 15% of all the bloggers—anywhere.
  • The ratio of male to female bloggers is just about equal—49.1% Male, to 50.9% Female. Go Mommy Bloggers!
  • Bloggers are a young-ish bunch of folks, most of whom are between the ages of 21 and 35. Am I too old for this gig???
  • We’re a BIG group…as of February 2011, there were over 156 Million public blogs in the world! As of March, make that plus one—yours truly. 🙂
  • As of today, the most influential blog in the universe is said to be The Huffington Post, followed closely by TechCrunch, Mashable!, Engadget, and my personal favorite for my daily “OMG, I can’t believe he or she did that/said that/wore that!”, TMZ.
  • And according to some guy named Andrew, a blogger, the following traits are what make a good blog post:
  1. Minimize your personal life—but don’t ignore it.
  2. People want to hear about success.
  3. People want to hear about what they can do to become successful.
  4. If you love what you’re writing about, you’ll dig deeper.
  5. Linking to other bloggers is a good idea.
  6. If everyone else has reported it, put a good spin on it, or ignore it.
  7. Use images.
  8. Back away from overused and tired out blogging trends.
  9. Create controversy.
  10. Write what you feel, when you feel it. If the information is wrong, so be it.

That’s good advice, Andrew! You have just given me permission to back away from being Glenda the Good, and not cite any of the factoids I’ve just blogged. You have no idea how hard that is for a grad student…sometimes I dream in APA format. But, it feels good to be bad…;-) How’s that for controversy? I will, however, link back to Andrew’s blog because those really are some great tips!

27 Days,15 Blog Posts,4 Readers, and 1 Healthy Dose of Cynicism

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This morning, before I drove my son to school, I followed what has now become my typical weekday routine–I stumbled to the kitchen to put on a pot of strong coffee and made my boys’ breakfast. Then I sat down with my laptop, steaming coffee mug in hand to check my email, vote for myself in the More Beauty Contest, check the morning stats on my blog (zero, as usual), and read Freshly Pressed. I had to laugh when I saw a comment from a fellow blogger that said most of the comments on that particular Freshly Pressed blog were “junk”, because he saw the same 10 names at the top of the comments of every Freshly Pressed blog, and those folks were just trying to increase the hits on their own pages. BURN! You guys are so busted!!! Ha-Ha-Ha! Oh…wait… he’s talking about me too. :::sheepishly looking around the empty room, slumping shoulders, and blushing:::

In my particular case, my cynical friend is partly right I guess. I first began to visit Freshly Pressed each day because I wanted to see how the game is played by learning from the apparent chosen elite. I sit on the Board of a local nonprofit here in town, and we recently attended a strategic planning session for our organization which included both Board and Staff. The facilitator was a highly educated professional who also happened to be an immigrant from the Philippines who came to the United States many years ago as a young man. He began our session by drawing broad comparisons between strategic planning and the strategies typically applied by a foreigner in a foreign land. He said that he, and most other immigrants, will be very quiet at first when they enter a foreign culture…they will sit back and observe how the game is played so that when they do begin to interact they will be more successful.

So, when I started my blog here on WordPress, I did so as an immigrant to the foreign land of blogging. And it doesn’t take a newbie long to learn that those who make Freshly Pressed must be doing it right. As I read over some of the postings that made the home page, most of which I actually did enjoy reading, I began to, like my wonderful facilitator, learn how the game is played.

Now dear readers, all four of you, as you know I have spent the last 12 years of my life studying all aspects of Business Management and I also have an unapologetic capitalistic free market mindset. So naturally I recognized a stellar marketing venue when I saw one. In other words, I’m no dummy, and I realized that if I were to comment on a current Freshly Pressed blog, more readers would notice my blog too. And so I did. But, and this is the honest truth or may the lightening crackling outside my window now strike my lying butt down, I truly only comment on the ones I liked, and only then if I have something substantive and interesting to say. And, guess what? It does work—I have gotten a miniscule number of hits on my own blog via traffic driven by my comments. Yay! In yo face, Cynical Exposure Boy! Ha!

I’ve learned a few things since I started blogging earlier this month. First of all, this is no longer a novelty—blogging has become a saturated industry. My business management saturated brain tells me that anyone starting a blog to “get rich quick” somehow or attain Snooki-like insta-fame is deluding themselves. You will be one of many, and you may never rise to the top—the crème de la crème of WordPress’ Freshly Pressed or otherwise. You have to be okay with that to survive, and luckily I am. I started this blog, I think, for all the right reasons. I have always loved to write, and it comes naturally to me, therefore is a fun, relaxing, and therapeutic hobby. I had other reasons too, the most impactful of which is something I covered in a previous blog—the sudden death of my dear friend Mark this past January. It hit me like a ton of bricks, and frankly I am still trying to process it and work through my sadness and grief. In addition to that, the death of a peer really does make a person think a lot about their own life—how short it really is, and all those items on the bucket list that are just sitting there, waiting to be checked off.

I’ve always wanted to do something with my writing…since I was very young. In fact, when I attempted college the first time, my major was Journalism. I wanted to become a reporter, a la Lois Lane. College didn’t work out for me at that time in my life, and I abandoned that aspiration. But, I never really stopped writing. Later, I wrote academic papers about business and maintained a straight A average in college this time, and along the way I entertained my friends and family members with short one and two liner funny commentaries in my Facebook status lines, and in response to news articles. So, and again, this is the truth—ultimately, I blog for myself, and you should too. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t hope you would read and maybe even subscribe to WittyBizGal. I do hope that my blog is read and enjoyed by a lot of people and that is why it is a public blog, not a private diary, and that is why I will continue to put my business savvy to good use to try to promote it any way I can.

You know what though? Even if it never grows, and my only subscribers remain myself, my husband, my cousin, and two close friends, I’ll still keep blogging for me and also for even one person who may read one sentence that will make them smile, give them a chuckle, inspire them, or help make their bad day just a little bit better…

Until next time…